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Student finance helps Welsh sporty teen pursue university dream

Higher education stories: Sophie from Ammanford

Sophie Hutchinson, a former pupil at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford, achieved four B-grades this summer in English Language and Literature, Religious Studies and History A-Levels, and the Welsh Baccalaureate, which secured her place on the English degree course at the University of Leicester. 

Sophie says:

“I want to have a job I know I can be stable in, so university has always been something I thought about.
“My family isn’t particularly well off so while I wanted to go to university, it would have been more of a big decision to go if I’d had to take out the full student loan. 

“If I’d had to take out the full maintenance loan to cover my living costs on top of the tuition fee loan, that would have been a lot to think about. But I get a grant of £8,100 to cover my living costs for each year of my degree. And having a degree will help me get a good job where I’ll be able to repay my tuition fee loan.

“I’m looking for a part-time job as well. The university offers jobs on campus and I’ve applied to be a student ambassador, where I’ll help out on open days, doing campus tours, that sort of thing. The extra income will come in handy.”

Knowing there was grant support to cover living costs helped Sophie choose the university and course that suited her best. 

Sophie adds: 

“My advice to people who may be put off going to university because they think they can’t afford it, is that there are so many opportunities to get the funding, especially through Student Finance Wales, so look into it.”

Don't let money get in the way of university

Eligible first time undergraduates will get comprehensive support to help fund their day-to-day living costs during term time, regardless of where in the UK they choose to study.